CLS/BUS362 International Field Studies:


China as a Cultural Entity

China Study Abroad Program, Spring/Summer 2005




Prof. Mansour Sharifzadeh, Professor, Department of Management and Human Resources  

Office: Building 94, Room 260; Phone: (909)869-2430;     

Office Hours: Tue 12-2 pm; Wed and Th 1-2 pm


Prof. Zuoyue Wang, Department of History

Office: Building 94, Room 335; Phone: (909)869-3872;

Office Hours: Spring 2004: TTh 1-2pm and by appointment


Nature of the Course


            This course integrates the classroom theory and practical experience in an overseas setting—China.  It provides students the opportunity for learning and analyzing the intellectual heritage and modern dimensions of China, including its philosophic thought, political ideology, religious contributions, literature, artistic achievements, and architecture.  The students will interact with people from cultures other than their own .  The international field study in China is also a collaborative learning experience with fellow students in the same program.


            This course will be initiated on the Cal Poly Pomona campus with several sessions of orientation during the spring quarter. During orientation, we will discuss the syllabi for this (CLS/BUS 362) and the other two courses (CLS/BUS 452 and 482) that the student will be taking during the summer; distribute readings; and conduct analysis of the civilization and literature as well as the social, political, and work culture of China.  Students are expected to develop central issues for investigation as an individual or group project and prepare research methodology. 


            About five weeks of travel in China will include: (1) lectures and discussions in English on selected topics by experts from universities in China and from Cal Poly Pomona; (2) field trips to China’s academic, cultural, government, and business establishments; (3) interviews and discussion with host country’s leaders in their culture and government; field study and investigations. 


Some of the Topics to Be Covered in Lectures, Readings, and Discussion:

Ancient civilization

Dynastic history

Religions and philosophy: Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism

Ancient science and technology

Fine arts and music


Literary traditions


Modern history

Economic and legal reforms


Expected Outcome


            After taking this class, students are expected to be able to:

·       Analyze the intellectual heritage of China in the modern dimensions of philosophical thought and political ideology.

·       Analyze the history of religious contributions to Chinese culture.

·       Compare and contrast literary traditions and contemporary literature in China.

·       Compare and contrast Chinese aesthetic sensibilities and artistic achievements, past and present.

·       Analyze architecture and city planning.

·       Improve interaction with people from cultures other than the student’s own.

·       Analyze significant learning experiences from the Chinese field visit.

·       Analyze significant learning experiences from the overseas internship.

·       Compare and contrast experiences of each student in the program.

·       Develop a research paper.

·       Deliver a professional oral presentation of the student’s research paper.


Policy on Plagiarism:

Plagiarism—copying other people’s writings or ideas as one’s own without proper acknowledgment or citation—is against university policy, can be easily caught, and will lead to the most serious academic punishments.  Please see Cal Poly Pomona Catalog for 2003-2005 (pp. 52-53) regarding university policy against plagiarism.


Policy on Late Work:

Late submission of any assignment will not be accepted and you will receive no credit.  Attendance and class participation are required and they will significantly affect your letter grade.  Please make every effort to come and participate in classroom discussions. 


Grading and Examinations:


            Final grades will be determined as follows:

Spring Orientation



Project Proposal



Film Discussion/Review




Project Presentation


China Tour



Participation, attendance, and code of conduct







Spring Orientation


Spring 2005 Orientation Schedule:




Friday, May 6,


Introduction (Intl Center)

Course Syllabi (Profs. Sharif and Wang)

How to Create Project Plans

Library Resources

Film and discussion (Prof. Wang)

Getting to know each other


Friday, May 13, 5pm

Deadline for submitting draft group project plans and film review of To Live via email attachments to Profs. Sharif and Wang.


Friday, May 20, 1-4pm

Pre-trip group meeting with Profs. Wang and Sharifzadeh, 15 minutes each group, to review and revise group project plans.

Wang: 94-335

Sharifzedah: 94-260

Thurs, May 26,


Pre-departure orientation (Intl Center); final project plans and extra-credit book and film reviews due.



Project Proposals:


            Students can choose to do either a single project or a group project.  It is recommended that no more than two persons work as a team.  If you decide to form a group of three or more, you need to obtain approval from the instructors during the Spring Orientation.  Note that a group project with more than two members will have a higher standard for performance evaluation.  Project’s due date will be discussed and finalized prior to the China trip.  Late project will not be accepted and you will receive no credit.


A three-page (double-spaced) written Project Proposal is due in draft form on Friday, May 13, by 5pm, via email to both Profs. Sharif and Wang.  Group members will review their proposals with Professors Wang and Sharifzadeh in their offices on Friday, May 20, 1-4pm, and the final proposals are due on Thur., May 26, 2005 during the pre-departure meeting.  The proposal should be word-processed and should include the following sections:


1.          Objective Section:

         State the objective of your study.  Choose a title and a theme.

2.          Background Study and Analysis Section:

         List some references that are critical to the central issue of your study.  Note that your reference list does not have to be exhaustive; however, it should indicate that you are gathering the “relevant” literature.

3.          Methodology Section:

         State how you will accomplish your objective.  For example, if you intend to conduct interviews or handout questionnaires, you need to design and submit, at least part of the interview or questionnaire questions in your proposal.  If there are particular equipments or technologies that are necessary for the completion of your study, please include that in your proposal.


Film Reviews:


On Friday, May 6, 1-5pm, we will watch a film To Live in 1-103.  Afterwards, students will write a 1-2 page review of the film in which you will summarize the content of the film and point out how the film helps you understand modern Chinese history and society.  Please email your film review to both Profs. Sharif and Wang by May 13, 2005. 


China Tour:


            Attendance and participation for lectures, field trips, and all cultural and social activities are required.  Unless you have legitimate reasons (for example, illness), absence from the scheduled activities or lectures will significantly affect your grade.  Please maintain a friendly and a collegial relationship with your group members; be considerate to your roommate or group members’ situation or needs; dress and behave properly to make a good impression in a foreign country; attend all activities ON TIME so that your trip becomes a pleasant one; lastly, be sensitive to the cultural differences.


Guidelines on the Research and Writing for Your Project:


I.                Objective:

What is the central issue of your study? 

(1)  Regarding issues:  People, History, Geography, Religion, Economics, or etc.?

(2)  Choosing themes:  For example, you do the following kinds of “compare and contrast”:

Then and Now: Socialism, Safety net? Maturation or regression? Religion, Art, the Continuing Chinese Legacy: Yes? No?  Influence of American popular culture?

Here and There: Community, Rights, Personal freedoms, Economic freedoms, Tourism, Greater China?  Student lives?  Youth culture?  Family values?  Physical exercises?  Religious architecture?

II.              Background Study and Analysis:

Build your study with the existing literature that is relevant to the central issue of your study.  (Sources of information and literature include: news articles, academic journal articles, professional journal articles, books, internet information, video tapes, audio tapes, etc.). 

III.            Methodology:

How will you accomplish what you set out to do in your objective?

(1)  Information or Data Collection:  Points of Contact, China Classes, Marketplace, Temples, Museums, Schools, News, Community, Media, and etc.

(2)  Research Activities:  Interview, Survey Questionnaires, Fieldtrip Observations, Statistical Analysis, and etc.

(3)  Equipments or technology necessary for the research methodology that you choose:  Camera, video recorder, audio recorder, notebook computer, web-related technologies, etc.

IV.            Analysis:

Summarize and analyze the information that you have collected.  For example: if the chosen theme is “Then and Now,” then contrast the historical perspective with the current views based on the information collected.  Your analysis should be in coordination with the project objective.

V.              Conclusion:

Summarize your study; make concluding remarks regarding the subject of your analysis.


China 2005 Summer Study Program Itinerary:

Will be distributed by International Center.


Project Presentation:


            Each student or group will make a project presentation after coming back from the China trip.  Presentation will be scheduled around mid-August, 2005.  We will discuss and finalize the presentation date in Spring Orientation.  Presentation will be evaluated based on clarity, professionalism, visual aids, and speech organization.  Of course, personal effort and sincerity are always important considerations when assessing the presentation performance.  If you miss the presentation, you will receive no credit.


Extra Credit:


You are encouraged to read or watch one or more of the books and films listed below and write a 1-2 page review of each book or film.  In the review, please summarize the main thesis of the book or the main content of the film and point out how they help you understand Chinese society and history.  The extra credit book or film review is due on May 26, 2005. 


Recommended Readings:


Adler, Joseph Alan. Chinese Religious Traditions.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.

Lopez, Donald S. Jr. (ed.).  Religions of China in Practice.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. 

Elman, Benjamin A., ed.  Rethinking Confucianism: Past and Present in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.  Los Angeles: UCLA Asian Pacific Monograph Series, 2002.

Schwartz, Benjamin. The World of Thought in Ancient China.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985.

Sullivan, Michael.  The Arts of China.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999.

Spence, Jonathan.  The Search for Modern China.  New York: W. W. Norton, 1999.

Hayhoe, Ruth.  China's Universities, 1895-1995: A Century of Cultural Conflict.  New York: Garland, 1996.

Lieberthal, Kenneth.  Governing China: From Revolution through Reform. New York: W.W. Norton, 1995.   

Lubman, Stanley B. Bird in a Cage: Legal Reform in China after Mao.  Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001.

Lin, Justin Yifu, et al. The China Miracle: Development Strategy and Economic Reform.  Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2003.

Dong, Stella.  Shanghai: The Rise and Fall of a Decadent City. New York: William Morrow, 2000.

Chang, Jung. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.

Min, Anchee.  Red Azalea.  New York : Berkley Books, 1995.


Recommended Films and Videos Available from Cal Poly Pomona Library:


Feature Films directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li:

Red Sorghum (1987) PN1997 .R4424 1991 (Sino-Japanese war in the 1930s)
Ju Dou (1991) PN1997 .C49 1991
Raise the Red Lantern (1991) PN1995.9.F67 R34 1992
The Story of Qiu Ju (1992)  PN1997.S855 Y55 1993
To Live (1994)  PN1997 .T5937 1995
Shanghai Triad (1995) PN1997 .Y3639 1996

Feature Films directed by Chen Kaige:

Yellow Earth (1986, starring Zhang Yimou) PN1995.9.C47 H8 1993
Life on a String (1991) PN1995.9.F67 L5 1991
Farewell My Concubine (1993, starring Gong Li) PN1997 .F37 1993
Temptress Moon (1996, starring Gong Li) PL2368.F5 T467 1996
Emperor and Assassin (1999, starring Gong Li) PN1995.9.H5 E56 2000 (ancient hist)

Other Feature Films:

Iron and Silk DS712 .I76 1991

Beijing Bicycle PN1995.9.Y6 S55 2002 

The Road Home PN1995.9.L6 R63 2001

Shadow Magic DS774.5 .S53 1999 

Not One Less PN1995.9.C47 N6 2000

King of Masks PN1995.9.C47 K5 2000

Shower PN1995.9.F67 S46 2000

The Horse Thief PN1997 .T236 1991

Hibiscus Town PN1995.9.F67 F88 1985


China's Forbidden city DS795.8.I46 F67 1995

Forbidden City DS795.8.I46 F67 1995

Democracy Crushed DS779.32 .D46 1998

The Great Step: China Women in the 20th Century:

            Vol. 1 and 2, HQ1767 .G73 2001